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Zippy’s Top 10 Local Kine Grinds (or food on Kauai)

My Top 10 Local Kine Grinds

My top 10 Local Kine Grinds! If your coming to Kauai you’re definitely gonna wanna check out the local cuisine’s.  Here’s my top ten list in no particular order.


Street Burger (Wailua)

Street Burger Hawaiian Shirt dude

Street Burger is Wailua’s newest urban-chic eatery, offering handcrafted, locally-sourced burgers, handcut fries, and the Eastside’s largest selection of local and craft beers on tap. They also make their own ketchup. (Vegetarian Burgers available.) All the regular kine burgers you would expect to find plus check out this selection of some pretty original burgers they offer:

Rancher…  tomato jam, grilled onion, aged gouda, fried egg*, arugula

Wailua…  crispy spam, jalapeno-pineapple marmalade, kabayaki glaze, spinach

Napa…  point reyes blue, cabernet onions, port reduction, spinach

Greek…  olive tapenade, feta, cucumber, tzatziki, spinach

Southern…  fried green tomato, pimento cheese, greens, buttermilk-chive dressing

Frenchie…  brie, carmelized onion, arugula, garlic aioli*

Texan…  texas style chili, charred onion, cheddar

Italian…  prosciutto, bufala mozzarella, arugula pesto, marinara, spinach

Street…  cured pork belly, fried egg*, arugula, blue cheese, fizzled onions

Lamb…  Ni’ihau lamb, eggplant caponata, feta, arugula

Veggie… housemade veggie patty, tomato jam, goat cheese, spinach, pesto


Address: 4-369 Kuhio Hwy, Kapaa, HI 96746

Phone:(808) 212-1555



Pono Market (Kapaa)

pono market hawaiian Shirt dude

Family owned & operated in Kapaa forever, Pono Market has the best Local menu on the east side and specials that change daily. Stuffed Chicken on Thursdays is my favorite. They also have great Poke and Lau Lau that you should definitely try out and the fried chicken is ONO!  expect a line and make sure you get in there early because they usually sell out around noon.

Address: 4-1300 Kuhio Hwy, Kapaa, HI 96746

Phone:(808) 822-4581


Tiki Tacos (Kapaa)

tiki-taco hawaiian shirt dude

My favorite taco stand on the island. Tiki Taco does tacos and that’s about it. But if you’re looking for a  good taco there’s really no place out to go. They dish up organic, vegetarian & vegan tacos with a Hawaiian flair. Hand made gluten free tortillas. Zippy recommends the fiery hot Polo Loco tacos with guacamole. Also try the “Surf & Turf” taco. All their tacos are huge & very filling!

Address: 4-971 Kuhio Hwy, Kapaa, HI 96746

Phone:(808) 823-8226


Verde Restaurant (Kapaa)

verde hawaiian shirt dude

Ver’de offers New Mexican-inspired twists on Mexican favorites. You can find me there on most Margarita Mondays or Tequila Tuesdays. Zippy recommends the Ultimate Chicken Burrito. 100% grass-fed Kaua’i beef – Antibiotic & hormone-free chicken & pork – Fresh, local produce – Vegetarian & Gluten-Free Available. I haven’t had everything on the menu yet but everything I have had is great!

Address: 4-1101 Kuhio Hwy A-3, Kapaa, HI 96746

Phone:(808) 821-1400


Garden Island BBQ (Lihue)

Garden Island BBQ Hawaiian Shirt Dude

Garden Island BBQ is just a down-home eatery serving generous portions of BBQ & Chinese fare in a casual setting. Expect no left-overs. Very expensive (about $10 a plate) and delicious. It’s also close to the airport so it’s the perfect place to stop and eat when you first arrive to the island or before you head back home.

Address: 4252 Rice St, Lihue, HI 96766

Phone:(808) 245-8868


Da Crack (Koloa)

da crack Hawaiian Shirt Dude

As the name might suggest, Da Crack is basically a little hole in the wall. You might even miss if you’re not looking closely. But if you’re looking for awesome, fresh Mexican food with a local twist, this place is worth the search. The portions are amazingly huge for the price. Gut buster size burritos, as I like to call em! They offer fish, shrimp, beef, chicken, pork, and even vegan, vegetarian and gluten free items if you ask. Zippy recommends the shredded pork burrito with black beans.

2827 Poipu Road, Poipu, Kauai, HI 96756

(808) 742-9505


Hamura Saimin Stand (Lihue)

Hamura Saimin Stand Hawaiian Shirt dude

Hamra Saimin Stand, family owned ramen noodle stand has been a local favorite for years. They make their own noodles and the broth is cooked all day long and brought to you fresh. Don’t be surprised to see a line out the door when you go. Zippy recommends the extra large special with a couple of bbq chicken sticks. And if you actually have room for dessert after that, their lilikoi chiffon pie is amazing. They are cash only so be prepared.

3343 Kuhio Hwy, Lihue, HI 96766

(808) 245-9918


Tip Top (Lihue)

Tip Top Cafe, Hawaiian Shirt Dude

This motel/café/bakery is almost always packed with locals every morning. Tip Top is a great, simple, down to earth restaurant, known for it’s great breakfast and brunch. Favorites include the banana macadamia nut pancakes and the ox tail soup. The best on the island! Zippy’s recommends the Loco Moco though. A couple of over easy eggs on top of a giant homemade hamburger patty over rice and smothered in gravy…oh yeah, broke da mouth!

3173 Akahi St, Lihue, HI 96766

(808) 245-2333


Mark’s Place (Lihue)

mark's place hawaiian shirt dude

Now Mark’s Place isn’t on any main road, it’s kind of hidden and located in an industrial center on the outskirts of Lihue. However, if you ask any local, they’ll know exactly where to go! With lots of variety of choices, you can get anything from a burger and fries to the daily chef special, which is always different and flavorful. Zippy recommends the Korean chicken plate lunch though…trust me, you’ll thank me.

1610 Haleukana St, Lihue, HI 96766

(808) 245-2522


The Fish Express (Lihue)

fish express hawaiian shirt dude

The Fish Express is another great place that you’d probably pass by without even noticing. It’s take out only, but they use fresh, local caught fish for all their dishes. The variety of fresh ahi poke is what draws most locals but Zippy recommends the ahi katsu (lightly breaded in panko) with wasabi cream sauce. Mouth watering and spicy!

3343 Kuhio Hwy, Lihue, HI 96766

(808) 245-9918


Well, that’s it for my 10 Ten Local Kind Grinds list. You may have noticed that most of my list is comprised of restaurants on the east side of the island. Well, that’s because the east side is where I live, and pretty much were I stay.

Until next time, keep your feet in the sand and hands outta my plate lunch!

-Zippy Moondog